In the face of totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt’s independence of spirit—her reluctance to attach herself to a partisan or intellectual movement—exemplified precisely the sort of political action that she believed to be the foundation of freedom. In our own age of polarization, she stands as a powerful reminder of the necessity—and even the nobility—of political engagement.
Author: James Stoner (James Stoner)
Natural Law and the Declaration of Independence
To those who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, political liberty and natural law went together: Nature summons man, individually and collectively, to self-government and guides him in the exercise of his power of choice.
Common Law and the Law of Reason
Like cousins who resemble one another, common law and natural law are sometimes confused. There is in fact a deep affinity between common law and natural law, but it is better at the outset to describe their differences, and best to do this historically.
What Makes a Society Thrive?
A collection of essays helps the public understand the elements that make up a society where people can flourish, the reasons for our society’s current problems, and some avenues for potential reform. Below is an adaptation of the editors’ introduction to that collection.
Is There a Moral Basis for the Free Market?
The morality of the market, important as it is in a free society, is not the only kind of morality that matters in common life.
On Markets and Morals: The SEC, Apple, and Internet Pornography
The recent SEC scandal reminds us of the prevalence of pornography. Steve Jobs’ decision to ban pornography on the iPhone might provide a way forward.
Guiding Principles for the Health Care Debate
Pragmatic concerns (and angry accusations) have dominated the health care debate to date. But what are the principles that should guide efforts for reform?
Natural Law and Economics: Total Strangers or Separated Lovers?
A recent conference at Princeton University asked whether in the midst of current economic challenges natural law philosophy might not provide a better foundation for the practice of economics than the utilitarian account of value that currently underwrites it.
Politics and Science
The “rightful place” of science is not as obvious as the President thinks.
Taking a New Look at Pornography
Recent technological developments in the production and dissemination of pornography, coupled with recent scientific investigations on pornography’s impact, force all thoughtful citizens to reconsider the social costs of pornography.
“Does Economic Liberty Merit a Public Defense?”
Despite the financial crisis, markets deserve a spirited public defense that acknowledges both their virtues and limits.
Social Conservatives Cannot Ignore Political Realities
John Haldane has reminded social conservatives in America of important political and moral truths, but he overlooks the necessity of engaging in partisan politics with eyes wide open to political realities.